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Old Prince of Wales pub in Ashford closed

Mystery surrounds the closure of one of Ashford's town centre pubs.

The Old Prince of Wales has been operating in New Street since about the 1850s, but has now been boarded up.

Shoppers have expressed their sadness at the closure of the site, which sits next to the town’s First World War tank.

The pub photographed in 1975
The pub photographed in 1975

One former customer, Michael Buller, said: “I used to use it years ago but I haven’t been in ages.

“It’s slightly out of the way, and I think you have to be one of the top pubs in town to survive these days.

“You’ve got to make brilliant food and have cheap beer to compete with the likes of Wetherspoons."

The Old Prince of Wales became the centre for donations following the Nepal earthquake in 2015, with people from across the town taking in items like wind-up torches, sleeping bags and tents.

The Old Prince of Wales has been boarded up
The Old Prince of Wales has been boarded up

Another previous visitor, Wynne Daniells, was also sad to hear about the closure.

The Quantock Drive resident said: “They used to have a good rapport in there - it had a great atmosphere.

“But people just drink at home now whereas we used to go out on a Friday or Saturday in a big group and go from place to place.

“There’s so many pubs being turned into flats, and that would be awful, but we don’t need another barbers or anything like that.

The pub - pictured in 1957 - next to the town’s tank
The pub - pictured in 1957 - next to the town’s tank

“It could make a nice restaurant but it would be nice if it was something different and not a Chinese or Italian."

The Prince of Wales is not the only recent town centre casualty, with the nearby Kelly Andrews hair salon also shutting down.

The stylist had operated from its Castle Street site for four years before it shut last month.

The unit is now being offered to let by Stafford Perkins for £15,000 per year.

Read more: 16 Kent pubs in the AA Pub Guide 2020 named in 'Pick of the Pubs'

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